My mornings smell like lilac these days. The sweet pleasant fragrance comes with every current of the gentle wind. With every breath I inhale the granny's perfume, the words of a poem, the passion of my youthful lilac nights and the shelter of my grandparents' garden. Every breath exhaled brings forth a sense of warmth, safeness and gratitude. My mornings these days makes my heart grow tender. The tiny lilac petals help me recognize the preciousness and fragility of each new minute. It always amazes me when Nature and my mind work together, when I am able to stop and pay attention to nature's simple beauty and allow it to transform my thoughts. These real and essential "daily presentations" teach me to give myself a choice to see the world differently, feel the joy of life and find possibilities in seemingly impossible realms. I do NOT know the answers and techniques to freeing our minds of confusions and leading meaningful lives. But I try every morning to wake up and look for Life, not for its meaning and purpose, but – life, the everyday one, the ordinary one, the one in me. My life. Messy as my morning table. Imperfect as my custard tart. I try every morning to wake up and live it all even when I feel like not leaving the bed. Sometimes it is easy, sometimes not so. Sometimes it is enough, but other times I have to push myself to end the monologue in my head, to awaken for what is out there and to believe in nature's wisdom and life's surprises. To live it all, or in other words, to nourish the soul, I have to simply be, here and now, aware of the moment and focusing the mind on what is nurturing – how to smile at the sun, how to hear in silence, how to feel the hot running water cleaning my body, how to say good morning with love, accept a kind word, laugh genuinely or cry softly, listen without judging, how to care for a child, to thank a stranger, to smell the freshly-cut grass, to notice the lilac... Then my days become sweet as the lilac syrup, fragrant as the lilac sugar because on such mornings, while encountering the life with its "daily presentations", I made the extra effort to "put lilac flowers in them".
(makes approximately 500 ml; adapted from the book Cooking With Flowers)
2 cups water
3 cups lilac blossoms
1/2 cup sugar
3 tbs. blueberries (optional, for color)
Place lilac blossoms in a bowl and pour boiling water over them. Let stand for at least 2 hours or overnight. Over medium heat, bring berries to a simmer along with sugar and lilac water. Cook and stir mixture for 4-5 minutes. Remove from heat and pour through a fine mesh strainer into a glass container. Discard berries and lilac solid. Refrigerate for up to 1 month. Use in drink mixes, over sorbets, ice cream and fruit salad. Drink it as a cold drink with a couple of ice cubes.
Which "daily perceptions" do you enjoy and appreciate these days?